Sunday, December 23, 2007

Local Woman's Devious Plans Foiled by Local Toddler's Devious Plans

I've probably spent about an hour in total reading up on childcare manuals over the last 2.75 years. It's a combination of female machismo ("It's my kid, I should instinctively know how to raise him") and the fact that his main care-giver (my Filipino maid) has 2 kids back home and can quietly undo all my mistakes while I am at work. Like the one time she threw away all the expired fever medication I had carefully accumulated through the years. Who knew fever medication could expire?

Anyway.

Yesterday I finished reading this super cool book I picked up at Kinokuniya's (The Secret Mother's Club, by Joanne Fedler) and although it's mostly fiction(ish) it did have a great tip for potty-training a male toddler. Why didn't I think of it before? BRIBES.

So it came to pass that the Husband and I ran out to the store on a Saturday evening and bought a little box full of toy cars. S$16.90 for 25 little Matchbox cars - works out to about 70 cents per car. Then we came home and informed The Son that if you need to pee, just pee in the potty and you will get a present! a surprise! a reward!

Then we set up the potty, perched The Son on it and he obligingly squeezed out 2 drops of pee for the rather breathless parental audience. There are cheers, whistles, hi-fives and a standing ovation culminating in a prize-presentation ceremony where The Son is presented with a single brand new Matchbox car which gleams as it basks in the glow of our collective achievements. He is overjoyed, we are overjoyed - this is a cinch!!!! Why do people have to write so many books about potty-training? Just open a toy-store, call it "POTTY TRAINING".

The entire family retires for a well-earned good night's sleep. That was yesterday.

By the time I wake up this morning, the loophole in our rather devious plan has been found and is being ruthlessly exploited. The Son keeps asking for a new car. This time he even specifies the colour of the car he wants. Then he runs to the potty while ripping his diaper off, squeezes out 2 drops of pee (I notice the diaper is still being well utilised for the serious peeing) and then demands another car.

It's only 11 am now, and he already has 5 cars. He's stopped wearing his shorts - he wants just the diaper to facilitate easy removal. He's watching us very very closely to see where we go to get the new cars and it's just a matter of time (minutes?) before he finds the motherlode. I am a broken woman.

Someday my son will stand in a car showroom, staring at all the gorgeous new cars that he wants to buy, and he will wonder why he has the overwhelming urge to rip his pants off and pee into a pot.

18 Comments:

At 3:09 AM, Blogger tazie said...

hehe... kids are clever creatures...

how about you don't let him wear his diapers? so that he will use the potty for serious peeing???

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger ene said...

Tell him that the pee needs to be at least half a (small) cup full or else, no car.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Ann J-S said...

It's true bribery can work but the results are unreliable. I tried the same thing with M&Ms. Alas the only real thing that works is keeping consistent pressure on to keep trying, offer praise as a reward and wait for the moment when he is really interested. By the time my son was 3 he was fully potty trained but I have a friend whose son just had his 4th birthday and he is peeing his pants frequently and always pees the bed. I agree about making him wear the big boy shorts, it is less comfortable for them (far less convenient I know) and it seemed to make a difference for my son.

Rest assured that there are few adults that are not potty trained and eventually he will dislike the accidents enough to give in. You may be in the poor house over diaper costs by then but try not to stress too much. There is only so much you can do. : )

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger VanitySpared said...

That's adorable and hilarious all at once; you're quite the entertaining storyteller. However, I have come to notice that either you or MM write posts, but rarely simultaneously. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were the same ghostwriter of two different blogs...

Except, of course, I've seen the Facebook profile to disprove it. Theory denied.

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous amused said...

haha, you're so funny!

 
At 10:39 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

btw my fave one is of the gator eyes-a-shiny

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Inex said...

hmm maybe you could have space it out.. like telling him if he pee in the potty successfully for 2 weeks, you give him a car... and he does it for 1 month, he gets a car and his favorite snack... something liddat..

 
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